FanPost

Trench Talk: Attitude Adjustment Edition

From the FanPosts. -Chris

"Everyone will get a chance"   Todd Haley

There are many, many storylines emanating from the offensive line group this offseason. Some being far-fetched ( Waters gets traded for a boat load of picks and a signed Guppy jersey) to the not so far-fetched (Monroe is drafted at #3). If Monroe is drafted, which position does Albert play? Can ANYONE currently on the roster surprise us and earn a starting job? And where does Goff fit in, and do we really make SacIntosh a Nose Tackle? With the Draft still pending, and many roster scenarios still undecided, I thought I might try to make sense of a critical building block for our '09 success.

Where are we at?

Chris has a nice post on where we stand currently on the roster. For me, they seem to divide nicely into three groups; keepers, also-rans or cut 'em guys, and potential players.  Here is a prospective depth chart as it might look come training camp:

Left Tackle:

Left Guard:

Center:

Right Guard:

Right Tackle:

Branden Albert

Brian Waters

Draftee: Eric Wood

Mike Goff

Barry Richardson

Herb Taylor

Edwin Harrison

Rudy Niswanger

Brian De La Puente

Draftee: Louis Vasquez

Andrew Carnahan

Tavares Washington

Wade Smith

Adrian Jones

Damion McIntosh

 

No one would argue that Albert and Waters are the keepers from last year's 5 starters. Both have the kind of solid, steady play that you yearn for out of an offensive lineman. I personally see absolutely no need to move Albert out of a position that he is filling quite adequately. Even as the Chiefs organization alluded to the possibility of being willing to move him, I think they would only do this if they couldn't trade down, and they didn't feel any other player/position was worth a top 3 pick. If Monroe or Jason Smith gets drafted, Albert will find a new home along our Offensive Line. Valuable back-ups include LT (sorry, not a RT) Magical Herb Taylor and Wade Smith. Both filled in nicely last year.

My favorite Chiefs player, Mr. Brian Waters, has left himself vulnerable and open to trade talk because of an incident with our new Head Coach. While old news, this still has many ramifications as we approach the draft and the second stage of free agency. The Goff signing seems to be a back-up plan in case Waters is indeed traded. I do not doubt that the new regime would trade Mr. Waters, even if we do need his services to protect our new franchise QB. If anyone doubts the "team first" attitude that the new staff holds paramount, you need look no further than the real "Godfather" of this coaching tree, Bill Parcells. He wasted no time last season in trading a former Defensive League MVP in Jason Taylor. Taylor's feelings where hurt when Parcells barely acknowledged him in the offseason. While Waters is no MVP, he is valuable to us, and in my opinion, needs to tuck his tail between his legs and go ask for forgiveness. This humble, un-selfish act might be the only thing that would allow Waters to spend another year in KC.

The "also-rans" are well known to all of us. Just like the Brady Bunch, there is too many of them, and the show has gone on way too long. I do think it is time to say goodbye to players like Adrian Jones and Damion McIntosh. Nose Tackle. Really? Anyway, SacIntosh's salary might keep him around for one more year, but I thought that even Wade Smith outplayed Jones in limited action. Niswanger has one more year to prove himself, and I honestly think he might stick as a guard.

The "potential players or cut 'em guys" are just that; they may pan out into starters someday, or they may be bagging groceries by Christmas. I wish I could give you some unique insight to the many roster unknowns like Tavares Washington and Brian De La Puente, but I will have to wait for Scout's Training Camp Daily Updates like the rest of you to get some insight on who is making a move for a roster spot. The only one of last year's group who seems to have the "potential" to start this year is Barry Richardson. A stud in college, who by the way is no dummy, was pegged as a RT in waiting by last year's coaching staff. For insight as to why that may have been, check out this read on Jason Capizzi's take as to why he was happy to leave the Chiefs for Pittsburgh. One huge difference that we are going to see this year from our coaching staff, is that the best player WILL play. I believe that. Last year, Peterson was too proud of how much he paid McIntosh to let him sit, and Herm didn't want to lose "continuity" on the line to try someone else.  I think I personally would have just let Richardson take his lumps like the rest of the 2-14 Chiefs so we could see what we have in him. I don't think the new regime cares how much someone is paid. They are looking for results.

Who is out there?

A lot has been discussed about the incoming draft class, and who among them we might want to see in Red and Gold next season. I am using Draftek's list of top ten players at position for this discussion.

Rank

Top 10 Offensive Tackles

School

3

Jason Smith

Baylor

4

Eugene Monroe

Virginia

13

Andre Smith

Alabama

14

Michael Oher

Mississippi

33

Eben Britton

Arizona

41

William Beatty

Connecticut

57

Jamon Meredith

South Carolina

59

Phil Loadholt

Oklahoma

93

Gerald Cadogan

Penn State

109

Troy Kropog

Tulane

 

 

 

Rank

Top 10 OG's

School

51

Duke Robinson

Oklahoma

71

Herman Johnson

LSU

78

Andy Levitre

Oregon State

101

Kraig Urbik

Wisconsin

103

Trevor Canfield

Cincinnati

126

T.J. Lang

Eastern Michigan

136

Tyronne Green

Auburn

168

Jaimie Thomas

Maryland

202

Andy Kemp

Wisconsin

207

Louis Vasquez

Texas Tech

Rank

Top 10 Center's

School

35

Alex Mack

California

40

Max Unger

Oregon

49

Eric Wood

Louisville

85

Jonathan Luigs

Arkansas

111

Antoine Caldwell

Alabama

165

A.Q. Shipley

Penn State

191

Cecil Newton

Tennessee State

216

Edwin Williams

Maryland

265

Dallas Reynolds

BYU

271

Blake Schlueter

TCU

 

The tackle position has been discussed ad nausea, so I won't go over the top guys. But if a trade scenario such as the Chiefs trading #3 for Denver's #12 and #18 comes to fruition, we could very well be in position to pick up our future right tackle in Michael Oher or Andre Smith. Both are just way too talented to not take in that range, especially with a very real need for O lineman. Phil Loadholt is another guy who I would consider if we still had our 2nd Round pick.

The guards, in my opinion, are always a tough group to project. Some might even become a Right Tackle for instance, like top rated OG Duke Robinson. He is huge and has the feet to play outside. But the best interior blockers in this draft really do seem to be the Centers. Quite possibly to best group of centers the draft has seem in a long while. This needs to be the year the Chiefs grab one, and I would be ecstatic with Mack, Unger, Wood, or Luigs. All have "long-term starter" written all over them. My personal favorite is Eric Wood. He would set a "nasty" tone along our O line that sometimes seems to be missing. Once again, we will need a trade-down possibility to materialize for us to take one of these guys. I also like Louis Vasquez (Guard or Tackle), Gerald Cadogan (Tackle), and A.Q. Shipley or Antoine Caldwell (Center or Guards) as late round possibilities.

Who is coaching these guys?

The Crypt Keeper himself, Bill Muir, and Joe D'Allessandris (pronounced "I teach guys to block" ) are the offensive line coaches.  Chris pointed out that besides Muir's 31 year's of NFL experience, we know little else about Muir. D'Allesandris was with the Chiefs last year and seems to have done a decent job considering Albert's quick transition from College guard to Pro left tackle. We will undoubtedly have a couple of new starters on the O line this season, and these guys will have their work cut out for them.

We all agree the Chiefs Offensive Line unit needs upgraded, but to what extent will be decided in the coming months. If Pioli is really piecing the puzzle together, then I assume he is not finished. Perhaps another veteran will get cut come June, or an existing player will have it just start to "click" and be ready to contribute. Whatever is the case, I hope we see a much improved unit. Number Seven's reputation and health is riding on it!

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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